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MnSCU approves tuition increases

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Trustees approve tuition and fees increase averaging of $205 at state colleges and $301 at state universities.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees approved a budget that holds average annual tuition and fee increases to $205 for undergraduate students at the state colleges and $301 at the state universities beginning this fall.

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This means students at the 25 state, community and technical colleges will pay an average of $4,902, an increase of 4.4 percent, and students at the seven state universities will pay an average of $6,596, an increase of 4.8 percent for tuition and fees.

Northwest Technical College - Bemidji 2010 annual tuition is $4,616 and will increase to $4,800 for 2011. Bemidji State University annual tuition for 2010 is $6,291 and will increase to $6,577 for 2011.

"The Board of Trustees remains committed to keeping tuition as affordable as possible, but this increase is necessary," Chancellor James H. McCormick said. "State appropriations have dropped substantially in recent years from covering about 66 percent of the cost in 2002 to an expected 43 percent this year. That means tuition will pay the other 57 percent."

McCormick noted that most students get help financing their education. About 54 percent of the state college students received financial aid, averaging $5,755, to pay education and living expenses.

About 60 percent of state university students received an average of $8,931 in financial aid, which includes state and national grants, scholarships, loans and work-study funds.

The presidents of the colleges and universities also are taking steps to reduce costs and hold down tuition by eliminating administrative support, reducing expenses for travel and equipment purchases, increasing class sizes, limiting course offerings, restructuring and closing programs, and taking other actions.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system comprises 32 state universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves about 260,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 164,000 students in non-credit courses.

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